SASAMI @ The Hug & Pint, Glasgow, 3 Sep

Sasami Ashworth is a wise-cracking, fuzz-peddling ball of uncontainable energy as she brings songs from her self-titled solo album to Glasgow's Hug & Pint

Live Review by Tony Inglis | 09 Sep 2019

Faith Eliott writes love songs, but not the kind you would expect. These are stories of deep blue ocean romance between hagfish and isopods; tales of the internal longing of a sea sponge. After a wonky cable causes a fuzzy start, their ostensibly esoteric, but ultimately quietly illuminating, songs captivate those who made the steep trip down the stairs from the bar early. 

Molly Linen’s band take up a lot of space on stage. Clarinet and an old-fashioned concertina-style instrument embellish folk songs that morph into rhythms that seem to be an impossible mutation from what came minutes before. 

The evening seems to gradually increase in volume and pace. But it is nothing compared to the snarling, shrieking arrival onstage from Sasami Ashworth – known mononymously as SASAMI – showered in a cacophony of buzz and fuzz. She is at turns prone to squeakily addressing the audience like pets, laughing maniacally during transitions, and at one point leads a conversation with her red jumpsuited bandmates about the attractiveness of the mothers of everyone in the room. A T-shirt hangs at the merch stand depicting Ashworth blaring on a French horn, emblazoned with the caption: 'Horny for Sasami'. It's raucous and genuinely laugh out loud funny – a born performer revelling in their ability to finally show off their solo talents.

Ashworth rips through most of her self-titled album, with a full band version of Free (recently released with the backing of Tim Presley and White Fence) and a roiling version of Jealousy midway highlights. When she stomps a pedal, bringing even her more subdued songs to life, Ashworth’s long black hair obscures her face in a very heavy metal pose, raking strings that almost tangle in the ferocity of it all. Callous and Pacify My Heart end a set that feels unfairly short, but burns extremely bright.